Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Message Senders

"Our feelings are always with us, but we are too seldom with them. " Daniel Goleman

Perhaps scariest of all to victims of sex abuse is the mountain of emotions perched behind walls of denial. Often a belief exists that if I don't acknowledge them, I'm okay and they don't exist.  Neither of which is true.

You are not okay - You are crippled.  You operate without the benefit of what your emotions can tell you.  You are living isolated, not able to connect with another person at the deep level of emotional intimacy that ultimately fulfills us as people.

And your emotions exist whether you acknowledge them or not.  They exist in headaches, sore backs and shoulders, ulcers and any number of physical conditions.

But that's not my focus of this post.

I want to encourage you to accept that your emotions have something to tell you.  That gut reaction you have is valid, it is your personal wealth of wisdom and judgement.  That gut reaction is not only valid, but vital to providing you with information that will guide you. Often victims of sex abuse do not trust their gut reactions.  Why?  Because the secrecy of sex abuse coupled with the facade a perpetrator lives under, messes with the victim's ability to accept her perceptions as real.

Gavin deBecker calls apprehension the "gift of fear."  This radar alerts you that something is off.  It is valuable and necessary for making choices that keep you safe.

Your emotions are your inner rudder!  You need them.  Decide to connect to them, learn from them and step fully into your life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Destiny is Purpose Fulfilled

Remember the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  Did you want to be that fireman, or that nurse?  I wanted to be a teacher, mostly because I thought it was the only option for me.  I had no concept of authentic identity or the idea that I carried within me a recipe for what I should be.  And then I met victims of childhood sex abuse and discovered through their desire to overcome, the concept of being restored to authentic identity.

Each of us has experiences in life that cause us to make adaptations in what we believe about self. These beliefs overshadow the truth of who we were created to be.  The victim of sex abuse may believe they are disgusting and disconnect from a sense of value. The person who thinks creatively may disconnect from that attribute believing it gets them in trouble.  The person who is curious disconnects from that attribute because people get tired of dealing with it.  Yet, all of those characteristics are absolutely part of what makes that person whole.  AND those attributes are exactly what are needed to accomplish destiny, or the purpose of one's life.  Your internal blueprint, your authentic identity, holds the key to walking in destiny.

The title of the recent bestseller, "The Purpose Driven Life", resounds with the desire we all have:  to live a life that has purpose and meaning.  It is natural to want to make an impact, to accomplish something that brings a sense of fulfillment. You were designed with purpose in mind.  Your authentic identity contains everything you need to do just that.

Unfortunately, often we end up living out of fate.  Fate is the path we take that is defined by the circumstances we live.  Destiny is the path we take defined by our authentic identity.

It takes hard work to override some circumstances. Poverty, neglect and sex abuse are circumstances that can be very challenging to override.  Restoration skills, such as recognizing the impact, recognizing your internal strengths, internalizing new truths, and using your power of agreement can absolutely shift you from fate to destiny!

And that means you live a purpose driven life!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stop Fighting it

The look on her face says, "That is not true. Don't say that out loud!"  And I know that we have hit a core roadblock in her restoration process.  It's an important insight.  We stop and refocus.

My goal is not to get her to accept the reality she experienced. If that becomes the focus, the battle will keep her stuck and keep us going round the same mountain over and over again.   

My goal is to help her recognize her unwillingness to accept what she already knows. It's an important distinction in focus.

I've been here many times with many victims of sex abuse.  I get it!  An entire internal system has been built for protection.  And I understand that it is scary to shift it.  I understand the need for support - that's why Connections exists!  I also understand the need for the CORRECT support if the goal is to truly overcome the impact of sex abuse trauma.

The best support I can offer is to help that victim accept her reality - the reality of the now! She decides what that is, i.e., she decides if she will accept the reality of the sex abuse, its impact upon her; or accept the reality that she won't or can't do the work of restoration. She really may be unwilling to shift her coping strategies or shift the way she thinks about herself and the world.  I need to accept that and so does she.  When we shift focus to what she is willing to accept, we can help quiet the internal conflict created in the therapy process.  Our focus can become how to live with the internal systems she has built and remain safe.

Stop fighting it?  Stop fighting knowing what you already know-on all levels.
Acceptance brings freedom!